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Democracy Still Thrives in Quintana Roo

Chetumal, capital of Quintana Roo

Source: Chris Manion and Carlos Polo, Population Research Institute, Latin America Office.
Reprinted with permission.

Dr. Christopher Manion, of PRI’s American headquarters, interviews Carlos Polo, the Director of PRI’s Latin American office, about the recent  constitutional crisis in Mexico.

CM: Carlos, there was recently quite a ruckus in the Mexican State of Quintana Roo. Tell us what happened.

CP: Well, Quintana Roo’s sovereign status was guaranteed in the state constitution of 1975.  Several weeks ago, on February 24, advocates of the pro-abortion agenda decided they were going to revoke it.

CM: What was their plan?

CP: It’s right out of the classic playbook of the Left, frankly. A group of radical feminists, with the help of some half a dozen deputies, tried to force pro-abortion language into legislation by doing an end-run around the tradition of parliamentary legislation adopted by majority vote.

CM: That sounds like a pretty big deal. How did they try to pull it off?

CP: Basically, they tried to blackmail the government. They occupied the Congressional chamber and held it hostage for three months. It started last year on November 29. Members of a self-styled “Red Feminista Quintanarooense” (Quintana Roo Feminist Network), known as “RFQ,” forced their way into the  facilities of the State Legislative Branch.

They could pull it off because State Deputy Gustavo Miranda helped them. He’s the President of the Government and Political Coordination Board of the Congress.

Miranda not only opened the doors to these activists, but also permitted them to use force and evict deputies and administrative personnel from the chamber. The demonstrators even had police protection when they painted pro-abortion slogans, both inside and outside the parliamentary chambers.

Then – probably the most serious breach – the RFQ was recognized as an official spokesman with regard to the celebration of an agreement signed by Miranda and six other pro-abortion deputies. Two officials of the State of Quintana Roo topped off this outrage by adding their signatures to the document as “witnesses of honor”: Marco Antonio Toh Euan, president of the Human Rights Commission, and Felipe Nieto Bastida, First Visitor General of the Human Rights Commission.

CM: Why wasn’t this effort just nipped in the bud?

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CP: Well, we had a mountain to climb. Look, the demonstrators even had the support of Mexico’s United Nations office, as well as that of the Mexican Government of President Andrés López Obrador. And it almost worked. By last month, on February 24, the entire State Constitution was on the verge of being nullified.

That’s the day that seven deputies demanded the passage of the abortion initiative. They also demanded the passage of nine other RFQ initiatives during the course of the year. They demanded that they participate personally in every parliamentary session. And then they wanted immunity!

And you know what? The chamber actually complied with that last demand!

Article 13 of the State Constitution states: “The State of Quintana Roo recognizes, protects and guarantees the right to life of every human being, by expressly stating that from the moment of conception, the child enters under the protection of the law and is to be recognized as a subject of rights for all corresponding legal considerations until the child’s death.”

That’s what they tried to overturn. They were obstinate. Fortunately, they didn’t succeed.

CM: How did they try to pull it off?

CP: Well, February 24 was a very long day. The “United Commissions” submitted for debate two initiatives designed to legalize abortion and make it a legitimate business in Quintana Roo.

CM: Wait, didn’t anybody raise the Constitutional conflict?

CP: Look, the pro-abortion deputies knew that any attempt at Constitutional Reform would have failed. Why? A constitutional reform requires a two-thirds of the plenary of the Chamber of Deputies, and they didn’t have the votes. Their only shot was to insist that their proposed legislation required only a simple majority.

When the United Commissions voted against the proposal, the  Congress recessed to consider the Constitutional conflict. When the deputies returned to the chamber, they tried again, and failed. José Luis Guillén López led those efforts, repeatedly seconded by Judith Rodriguez, President of the Human Rights Commission and Edgar Gasca, President of the Health Commission.

CM: But the abortion advocates had the U.N., the President, these congressional leaders – why didn’t they succeed?

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CP: At that point, a group of determined deputies objected on the floor and forced quorum calls. The Commissions finally rejected the adoption of the measure once and for all. They even included a formal affirmation of the Constitutional Reform process in the decision.

CM: So near and yet so far. It sounds like they bungled what looks like a sure thing. Who came to the rescue?

CP: The pro-life Members of Parliament who sustained the quorum call demand were terrific. Congresswomen Kira Iris San and Aurora Pool Cauich of the National Action Party, Congresswoman Reina Durán Ovando of the ruling Morena party and President of the Constitutional Points Commission, and Congressman Carlos Hernández Blanco of the Institutional Revolutionary Party – PRI – these intrepid champions of life deserve the recognition and support of all of us for sticking to their guns in defense of the Constitution.

Bottom line: in Quintana Roo, we witnessed a travesty – radicals to legalize the killing of the unborn in the midst of a pandemic. Fortunately, the pro-life public come to the rescue.

CM: That’s good news. How did they do it?

The people of Quintana Roo and pro-life groups spread the word. The day before the vote, they flooded the social networks.  They appeared before Congress and presented more than 100,000 signatures in support of the Constitution.

CM: And I hear you played an important part, correct?

CP: You bet we did. The Population Research Institute’s Latin America Office provided support with strategic guidance to local organizations. We produced written and video materials for the social media campaign.

CM: That’s terrific. Tell me about Rodrigo Iván Cortés, I’ve heard a lot about him.

CP: Rodrigo Ivan Cortes is the President of the National Front for the Family of Mexico. He called the Quintana Roo fiscao a “triple kidnapping.”

CM: My oh my, that’s a powerful word in Mexico. What did he say?

CM “First and foremost, he said, the fiasco represents a hijacking of congressional facilities and operations. And they tried to do it through a fake agreement pushed by some like-minded legislators. Simply an outrage – a real crime of kidnapping.

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What’s more outrageous is that this crime was supported by the State Human Rights Commission and also had support from the representative in Mexico the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, a woman named Michelle Bachelet. Her office in Mexico tried to use that pressure, that blackmail, to legalize the crime of abortion.

“Imagine, the United Nations actually endorsed the kidnapping of a Parliamentary seat so that a criminal act can be legislated under pressure! This outrage has no name. And it is not an isolated event. They also tried the same maneuver in other states, like Michoacán. There the local population prevented them from pulling it off, but the UN was ready and willing to bac

“Secondly, the fiasco represents a hijacking of language by the United Nations State Human Rights Commission and the RFQ in their attempt to brand a crime as a ‘right.’

“And finally, it represents a kidnapping of democracy itself and the sovereignty of the state of Quintana Roo.

CM: Well, please send our congratulations to Señor Cortés.

CP: You bet I will. He was terrific! He sent a very emotional message to his fellow Mexicans: “We cannot remain silent, we have to continue raising our voices, we have to continue denouncing this trap they want to set. This is not over. So far it’s a stalemate. We won the first round, but the fight will go on. Therefore, we ask that you continue to be vigilant and active in social networks. If you are in Quintana Roo, stay well-informed, stay in touch, in order to continue to defend the sovereignty of Quintana Roo, its Constitution that recognizes life from its beginning, and of its own democracy. Do not let your state be hijacked”.

CM: Thanks very much, Carlos, and congratulations on a job well done. Mr. Cortes’s advice can serve as a guide for pro-lifers around the world.

We’ve been speaking with Carlos Polo, the director of the Population Research Institute’s Latin America Office. Carlos, we look forward to your next report.

CP: Thank you.

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